Koss KTX Pro 1 headphones offer spectacular sound for as little as $10

When I first set eyes on the Koss KTX Pro 1 headphones I wasn't expecting much. The silver plastic on-ear has an all-too-generic look, but as soon as I started listening the sound had my full attention; they were very decent! Most cheap on-ears sound claustrophobic and pinched, but the KTX Pro 1's sound was big and spacious. The 60-ohm design is exceptionally comfortable, and the foam ear pads exert minimal pressure, so you can wear these things for hours without fatigue setting in. Like all budget headphones the KTX Pro 1's cable lacks an inline mic … Read more

Monoprice 9774 vs. Monoprice 10565 (vs. Energy Take Classic): Are they different?

A few months ago, Matt Moskovciak and Steve Guttenberg reviewed the Monoprice 9774, finding them to be incredibly similar to the Energy Take Classic. Too similar.

I got in both speakers, and tore them apart, finding them to be pretty much the same. Or as close to the same as two speaker sets can be. A lawsuit happened. Then, suddenly, everyone was happy.

Now, we've got a new set of Monoprice speakers. How different are they (if at all?).… Read more

Superb-sounding speakers that are a little short on style

Monoprice's last home theater speaker system was literally too good to be true: a near clone of the outstanding Energy Take Classic 5.1 speakers ($350 street) for a fraction of the cost. The copycat 9774 speakers ended up as the subject of a lawsuit from Energy's parent company, Klipsch. The proceedings were settled out of court, and the 9774 speakers were discontinued.

Now the company is back with the 10565 speaker system ($249), with the same price, but a different look. The new speakers still share many of the same specs as the Energy speakers, but there … Read more

The Monoprice IPS-Glass Panel Pro's great screen and low price trump its otherwise poor design

With its IPS-Glass Panel Pro, Monoprice abstains from sensible design decisions in favor of a cheap but powerful monitor. For those low on funds and looking for a large, sharp monitor, the sacrifices made here in ergonomic design, sensible button arrangement, and smooth OSD navigation will likely be worth it. At $475, the IPS-Glass is the cheapest extreme definition monitor I’ve yet reviewed and the fact that it boasts accurate color, deep blacks, and high contrast makes its low price all the more impressive.

More than anything however, Monoprice’s perplexing design decisions with the IPS-Glass illustrate just how … Read more

Klipsch, Monoprice settle patent dispute over speakers

The legal spat between discount retailer Monoprice and audio system maker Klipsch ended almost as soon as it started.

In March, Klipsch accused Monoprice of patent infringement for selling a Monoprice-branded home theater speaker system that was virtually identical to top-rated system made by Klipsch subsidary Audio Products International, under its Energy brand. Friday morning, Klipsch lawyer, Dean E. McConnell, told CNET via email that the dispute had been resolved on Thursday.

"The litigation between Klipsch Group, Audio Products, and Monoprice has been amicably resolved," McConnell wrote. "The terms and conditions of the settlement are confidential and … Read more

Hit by patent suit, Monoprice apparently pulls top-rated speakers

Online discount retailer Monoprice has apparently discontinued selling its top-rated home theater speakers shortly after being hit with a patent-infringement lawsuit.

In March, CNET reported on Monoprice, a darling of tech geeks for its cut-rate cables, noting that a handful of its new products were virtually identical to rival offerings.

Perhaps the most striking: Monoprice's 5.1 Hi-Fi Home Theater Satellite Speakers & Subwoofer system, which bears more than a passing resemblance to the Energy Take Classic 5.1 system, which CNET's Matt Moskovciak called "the best budget speaker system we've reviewed." Other than the … Read more

Are the Energy Take Classic and Monoprice 9774 the same?

A recent CNET review of the Monoprice 9774 by Matt Moskovciak and Steve Guttenberg revealed that, beyond striking physical similarities, they sounded nearly identical to the more-expensive Energy Take Classic speaker system.

A recent lawsuit seems to bear out that Energy feels the same way.

So how similar are they? I acquired sets of both to take apart and compare the guts. Further, I enlisted the help of measurement wizard and speaker guru Brent Butterworth to measure the frequency response.

The results were very interesting.… Read more

Monoprice: A tech consumer's best friend? Or a copycat?

Reviewers have fawned over surround-sound speakers from Energy, a unit of the Klipsch Group.

Two years ago, CNET's Matt Moskovciak dubbed the Energy Take Classic 5.1 system "the best budget speaker system we've reviewed." The sound from the speakers is incredible, he wrote, and the $399 price tag unbeatable.

It was, anyway. A few months ago, upstart online retailer Monoprice debuted its 5.1 Hi-Fi Home Theater Satellite Speakers & Subwoofer system at $249. The speakers aren't just similar to the Energy system, and they don't just have the same dimensions and sound … Read more

The 404 1,213: Where Sphere says no to 'Yes to the Dress' (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Is Spotify unfair to musicians?

- Spotify reports net loss of $59 million 2011.

- Spotify will pay $500 million to artists and rights holders in 2013.

- Benford's law, also called the first-digit law.

- Godwin's Law, also known as Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies.

- The Audiophiliac wants to see your audio system.

- Are the Monoprice 9774 speakers inspired by, or knocks-offs of, the Energy Take Classic 5.1?… Read more

Monoprice 9774 review: A discount clone of our favorite speakers

Monoprice wants to disrupt the home theater industry. The company got its start selling cheap HDMI cables, and has recently expanded to full-fledged consumer electronics, with a bold mission of rolling out new products only when it can charge about half the price of traditional retailers.

The Monoprice 9774 ($249, plus shipping) 5.1 speaker set is the company's most audacious effort yet: a clone of the outstanding Energy Take Classic 5.1 ($394 street) speaker system for nearly $150 less. And "clone" is barely an exaggeration. The 9774 system performs and looks almost exactly like Energy'… Read more